Termite larvae represent the first phase of the life cycle after a termite has hatched from the egg. Although you may never actually see termite larvae, these hatchlings are vital to the survival of a termite colony. When adult worker termites feed, much of the wood material they consume is taken back to the colony to feed the larvae, which will then grow up to populate the colony and perpetuate the cycle of destruction.
Eliminating termite infestations can be a complicated, lengthy process. The first step in eradicating these pests is to contact a professional pest control service to schedule an inspection. Licensed, trained inspectors can detect signs of infestation that the average homeowner may not notice. If termite treatment is required, you may save your household thousands of dollars by investing in professional pest bait treatment and control to destroy the colony and its larvae, as well as the adult workers inside your home.
Stages of Termite Development
The termite life cycle begins when a female colony member has been fertilized and lays its eggs. Termites generally lay their eggs in areas that are invisible to homeowners, like subterranean colonies or the inside of wooden beams or posts. The insects deliberately choose these secluded locations in order to protect the eggs. After several weeks, the eggs hatch and the larvae emerge. Termite larvae are usually no larger than the eggs themselves.
As soon as the new insects hatch, worker insects begin to tend to them to ensure their healthy growth. Larvae do not actively feed on wooden structures, but they are fed continuously by the worker members of the colony, who contribute a significant portion of the wood they devour to the developing termite larvae. Throughout the larval stage, larvae are transported to different locations to maintain a temperature that is favorable to their growth.
These immature insects will shed their skins several times as they develop into maturity. Once they develop, larvae may evolve into workers, soldiers or reproductive colony members. These three groups are essential to the functions of a colony, and each group plays an important role in the colony’s perpetuation. Although the hatchling insects do not actually destroy the beams, roofing, walls or other wooden structures in your house, they are extremely important to the colony’s survival.
Workers are in charge of creating tunnels and underground passageways for the colony and for feeding the other colony members, including the termite larvae. Soldiers are not capable of feeding themselves, but they have enlarged jaws that can be used to defend the colony. Reproductive members are responsible for fertilization and perpetuating the life cycle. Although workers and soldiers may live for only a year or two, the queen of a colony may live for up to 50 years.
The eggs, termite larvae and adults members of a colony must be eliminated from a home in order to prevent expensive damage. Once an infestation has begun, these pests consume the wooden components of a home from the inside out, leaving hollowed beams, rafters, posts or joists. When ceilings or walls show signs of sagging, the destruction may already be extensive. Most standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover the destruction caused by these voracious pests.
Licensed pest control services have several reliable measures for eliminating colonies and stopping infestations. Because of the persistence and reclusive nature of these pests, professional eradication is more effective than the pest control products that are widely available to consumers. Professional pest control technicians use large volumes of liquid termiticide to create chemical barriers under the soil, so that insects who attempt to leave the colony or return to the soil in an attempt to feed the growing termite larvae will be eradicated.
Professional pest control companies are licensed by the agency that regulates these services in your state. Experienced consultants have been trained to recognize termites in all stages of their development, from eggs to termite larvae to adult workers and soldiers. These experts can also identify the winged reproductive members that swarm around lighted areas of a home in the warm months of spring in an effort to form new colonies. If you see swarming pests or find discarded wings around your house, this is a near certain sign of an infestation.
Effective pest control requires eliminating the entire colony in order to destroy eggs, termite larvae and adults. This process requires expert knowledge of the pests and the construction of a residential building. Compare quotes from several of the leading services in your area to find a qualified, licensed team with extensive knowledge of these wood-devouring species. The more you learn about these species and the evidence they leave behind, the more likely you are to spot the early signs of an infestation, so that a professional inspection can be scheduled.